Definitions for melanesiaˌmɛl əˈni ʒə, -ʃə
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Mel•a•ne•siaˌmɛl əˈni ʒə, -ʃə(n.)
one of the three principal divisions of Oceania, comprising the island groups in the S Pacific NE of Australia.
Category: Geography (places)
the islands in the southwestern part of Oceania
Part of Oceania, made up of New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.
Origin: From μέλας + νῆσος, referring to the skin color of the inhabitants.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
eleven archipelagoes of crystalline, coralline, and volcanic islands in the W. of Polynesia, all S. of the equator, and inhabited by the Melanesian or dark oceanic race; includes the Fiji, Solomon, Bismarck, and New Hebrides islands.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
The collective name for the islands of the Pacific Ocean northeast of Australia, including NEW CALEDONIA; VANUATU; New Hebrides, Solomon Islands, Admiralty Islands, Bismarck Archipelago, FIJI, etc. Melanesia (from the Greek melas, black + nesos, island) is so called from the black color of the natives who are generally considered to be descended originally from the Negroid Papuans and the Polynesians or Malays. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p748 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p344)